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08

Nov 2016

Meet the LGBT MBA Fellows: Geoffrey Sokolowski

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The Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship is a scholarship and leadership development program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and active ally MBAs in full-time programs. Each Fellows receives at least $10,000 funding per academic year (or $20,000 total for his/her/their two years) in addition free lifetime access to all Reaching Out programming (including the ROMBA Conference), LGBT mentors, and a leadership summit exclusively for the Fellows.

This fall Reaching Out welcomed the second class of the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellows. These 44 fellows come from 30 top business schools and over the next month we’ll introduce each of them to you.

35 MBA programs will be part of the Fellowship for the 2016-2017 application cycle. To learn about the Fellowship and let schools know of your interest here.

MEET GEOFFREY SOKOLOWSKI (University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management)

Geoff is a first-year MBA candidate at UCLA Anderson originally from Shrewsbury, MA. Prior to enrolling at Anderson, Geoff graduated from the George Washington University with a degree in International Affairs and Economics. He also spent 4 years at Deloitte Consulting in Washington, DC and San Francisco where he supported clients with large scale business transformations, including business process redesign and software implementation. With this background, Geoff hopes to use his time at Anderson to transition into a product management role with a long-term goal of starting his own business. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, hiking, and exploring his new city of Los Angeles.

What made you consider business school?
I wanted to gain a better understanding of core business functions in an academic environment in addition to building a robust network of professionals across industries and functions.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
I’m excited to meet my new classmates and learn from the experiences that they’ve had.

Who are some leaders (in business, in the LGBT community, in society) that most inspire you?
I’ve always found Elon Musk’s ability to bring his long-term vision for the future to reality inspirational. As the first openly gay man to be CEO of a Fortune 500 company, I also have looked up to Tim Cook.

What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I love to travel and will rarely say no to a trip!

 

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28

Jul 2016

ROMBA Student Leader Profile: Ned Mitchell

Posted by / in LGBTQ BUSINESS STUDENT BLOG / No comments yet

In addition to Reaching Out’s staff, each year the Reaching Out LGBT MBA & Graduate Conference’s content is developed and produced by MBA & graduate students from schools across the world. These core group of the students working on the ROMBA Conference are known as the “Student Leadership Committee.”  The Leadership Committee comes up with the conference’s theme, ideates all breakout sessions, and is seen prominently on the ground at the conference!

Over the next few weeks we’ll highlight each of this year’s 11 organizers and share some of their tips for those planning to attend this year’s ROMBA Conference in Dallas (Oct 6-8)!  Not only will they tell you what they are most excited about for this year’s conference, but they’ll also give inbound LGBT MBA students tips on the summer internship search & experience!

Name: Ned Mitchell

School (Program/Concentration): UCLA Anderson

Summer Internship:  Sr. Product Manager, Amazon Video, Seattle

How did your first year in business school prepared you for your summer internship?
Before I started my MBA, I had no idea that I wanted to work in tech or entertainment, let alone at the intersection of the two! My first year introduced me to a function that was a much better fit for who I am and helped me connect with peers, professors, and alums who are passionate about the industry I was passionate about. School also made me aware of (note that I didn’t say “an expert in”!) a number of tools and techniques that I recalled and dove into after starting my internship. Things you learn in school, whether that’s understanding incentive structures in an organization or cluster analysis in marketing, really add value to any team.

What experience(s) do you hope to take away from your Internship this summer?
A sense of resourcefulness that came from asking for meetings with people all across Amazon who I thought might have a unique insight for my project. A sense of ownership that came from making decisions myself as long as I could explain them with data. And a need for speed – failing fast feels so much better than failing slowly!

What’s the most valuable piece of advice going into summer internships you can offer the Class of 2018?
Learn and absorb! It’s one of the rarest opportunities you’ll have in your life to grow quickly.

What are you most excited about for 2016 ROMBA Conference?
This will be the best conference ever – how could I not be excited?

Any advice you have for people going into the ROMBA Conference for the first time?
Take any and every meeting and coffee chat you can. Opportunities will develop in the weeks and months after ROMBA as a result of your simply doing that. Also, you can (and should!) still follow a path that is wholly your own at any size company, not just the smaller ones. Get the inside scoop from people working at these companies about the scale and impact they feel their work touches on, how dynamically they think, and how much support they get from their managers to do things that are outside of the box.

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